Go Back   Cruise Critic Message Board Forums > New Cruisers > First Time Cruisers
 
Register here!
Forgot Your Password?


Notices

First Time Cruisers You May Also Want to Read: Over 4,000 Published Cruise Reviews by First Time Cruisers

Best advice for first-time cruisers; learn how to pick a cabin, find the best cruise bargain, tips on what to pack.

Browse Cruise Critic's First Time Cruiser Resources (articles)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old April 27th, 2012, 02:21 PM
TxDiamondCruiser TxDiamondCruiser is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 40
Default Passports -- it is really necessary?

Me and my 16 yoa are going on our first cruise soon. We both have drivers licenses and certified birth certificates. Really considering foregoing the expense of passports. Has anyone ever sailed without a passport before? Is this really too risky?
Reply With Quote

  #2  
Old April 27th, 2012, 02:34 PM
johneeo johneeo is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Philadelphia area
Posts: 6,726
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TxDiamondCruiser View Post
Me and my 16 yoa are going on our first cruise soon. We both have drivers licenses and certified birth certificates. Really considering foregoing the expense of passports. Has anyone ever sailed without a passport before? Is this really too risky?
Been there done it.

You will be fine.

You will get the following replies:

But, in an emergency you will not be able to fly home.

But, in an emergency you will not be able to fly home.

But, in an emergency you will not be able to fly home.

But, in an emergency you will not be able to fly home.

But, in an emergency you will not be able to fly home.
Reply With Quote

  #3  
Old April 27th, 2012, 02:40 PM
beachbum53's Avatar
beachbum53 beachbum53 is offline
Blue Ribbon Cruiser
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Columbus,Ohio
Posts: 3,915
Default

If you are on what is referred to as a "closed loop" cruise (you depart from and return to the same U.S. port, such as Miami), then no, you don't need a passport. However, there is a certain element of risk. If, during the course of the cruise, you miss the departure time of your ship, or have to leave part way through the cruise due to an emergency and have to return home, then you would need a passport, since you would have to deal with a Customs agent prior to leaving the country. So is it a necessity? No, but it is highly recommended.
__________________


CRUISES
Carnival Liberty May 2013
Carnival Liberty May 2012
Carnival Sensation Feb. 2008
Carnival Destiny Feb. 2007
RCCL Explorer of the Seas March 2002
RCCL Majesty of the Seas Dec. 2000
Carnival Imagination Sept. 1999
RCCL Enchantment of the Seas Feb. 1999
RCCL Grandeur of the Seas Feb. 1997
Reply With Quote

  #4  
Old April 27th, 2012, 02:40 PM
cruzeluver cruzeluver is offline
5,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Summerville, SC
Posts: 5,178
Default

Where are you going? Is it a "closed-loop cruise"? Not enough info provided to answer your query. Personally, I would never leave the contry without a passport, but in certain circumstances they are not required.
__________________
Past/Upcoming Cruises:
Song of Norway (7 night Western Caribbean)-1981
Fair Sky (12 night Alaska)-1985
Nordic Prince (7 night Bermuda)-1990
Norwegian Sea (7 night Western Caribbean)-2004
Celebration (5 night Bahamas)-2005
Norwegian Majesty (7 night Western Caribbean)-2006
Mariner of The Seas (7 night Eastern Caribbean)- Sep. 2007
Norwegian Star (8 night Mexican Riviera)-April 2008
Carnival Glory (7 night Western Caribbean)-November 2008
Celebrity Constellation (11 night Eastern/Southern Caribbean)- April 2009
Carnival Spirit (7 night Alaska)- August 2009
Celebrity Mercury (11 night Eastern Caribbean)-March 2010
Celebrity Constellation (14 night Southern Caribbean)-March 2011
Celebrity Silhouette (12 night Eastern/Southern Caribbean)-March 2012
Freedom of The Seas (14 Night Back-To-Back Western/Eastern Caribbean)-April 2013

Carnival Fantasy (7 Night Eastern Caribbean)-August 2014
Celebrity Silhouette (7 Night Western Caribbean)-March 2015

Reply With Quote

  #5  
Old April 27th, 2012, 02:40 PM
runnerandme's Avatar
runnerandme runnerandme is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Spring City, TN
Posts: 1,724
Default

As long as it is a closed loop cruise, meaning leaving from and coming back to the same US port. Also make sure the certified copies of your birth certificate have all the required information on them. Some cruisers have stated that they needed the long form with parents name on them.
__________________
Summit RT LA-Hawaii Jan 06
Summit Panama Canal Feb 07
Infinity Ultimate Alaska Sept 07
NCL GEM TA NYC-Barcelona April 08
NCL Pearl Western Caribbean Dec. 08
Vision of the Seas B2B Caribbean Feb. 09
Eclipse Caribbean Nov.13
Silhouette Holy Land Oct. 14
Reply With Quote

Ad Sponsored By
  #6  
Old April 27th, 2012, 02:45 PM
sunluva7's Avatar
sunluva7 sunluva7 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: New England
Posts: 2,079
Default

Depends on where you're going. Driving to and from Canada works with a birth certificate. Flying in and out of a foreign country requires a passport. If it's a closed-loop cruise to Mexico, however, embarking and disembarking from the same U.S. port, you can get by with a birth certificate. Even then, though, if you need to fly home from a port in a foreign country for emergency reasons, you will need a passport. Everything you need to know is here:

http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html

The best thing to do is follow the advice of your cruise line, airline, and country you are visiting.

Personally, in this day and age, I wouldn't travel out of the country without one, and I think it's well worth the expense. At least you know you're prepared for anything.
__________________
Email Me

February 16, 2015 ~ Bahamas on Norwegian Sky
Cruise Countdown Tickers
August 1, 2015 ~ British Isles on Royal Princess


08/04/2014 Celebrity Reflection~ E. Mediterranean
01/17/2014 Disney Magic~ Bahamas
10/06/2013 Brilliance of the Seas~ N.E./Canada
07/29/2013 Grand Princess ~ San Francisco to Alaska
08/02/2012 Ocean Princess ~ Ireland & Scotland
08/01/2010 Emerald Princess ~ Western Caribbean
08/10/2008 Norwegian Dream ~ Boston to Bermuda
08/06/2005 Caribbean Princess ~Eastern Caribbean
08/04/2003 Carnival Imagination ~ Western Caribbean
08/05/2002 Grand Princess ~ Western Caribbean
Reply With Quote

  #7  
Old April 27th, 2012, 02:53 PM
RoofingPrincess's Avatar
RoofingPrincess RoofingPrincess is offline
10,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Bristol CT
Posts: 10,702
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunluva7 View Post
Driving to and from Canada works with a birth certificate.
Actually, no, it doesn't...
It will work to get you into Canada. It will not work coming home.
"For entry into the United States via land and sea borders, U.S. citizens must present either a U.S. passport, passport card, NEXUS card, Enhanced Drivers License, or other Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)-compliant document. "
http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_p.../cis_1082.html
__________________
Cindy WGIG#198-F --> "sea" my pictures HERE
Mustard of the Seas Utility Crewmember & Goodwill Ambassador - East Coast

My Cruises: Atlantic (Premier, a/k/a Big Red Boat), E Carib, Apr 93; Adventure (American Family), E Carib, June 94; Explorer of the Seas, E Carib, June 06; Jewel (Mustard) of the Seas, E Carib, Feb 07; Vision of the Seas (NUTZ 2), Mex Riviera, Oct 07; Caribbean Princess, E Carib, May 08; Carnival Ecstasy, W Carib, Sept 08; Serenade of the Seas (Mustard 2/NUTZ 3), Alaska, June 09; Jewel of the Seas, WB Transatlantic, Sept 10; Carnival Miracle, SE Carib, Nov 11; Jewel of the Seas (NUTZ 4), Canada/New England, Oct 12; Carnival Fantasy, Bahamas/Grand Turk, Nov 13; Adventure of the Seas, S Carib, Jan 14; Celebrity Summit, S Carib, Nov 14

“The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea.” -- Isak Dinesen
Illegitimi non carborundum
Reply With Quote

  #8  
Old April 27th, 2012, 03:02 PM
cb at sea cb at sea is offline
50,000+ Club
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Fredericksburg, va. USA
Posts: 63,382
Default

We never sail with a passport (Caribbean closed loops!)....your BC and DL will be just fine. In the event of some emergency, you WILL get home...no fear. It may be a bit of a hassle, but none of those countries will allow you to stay...so home you will go.
Reply With Quote

  #9  
Old April 27th, 2012, 03:24 PM
sunluva7's Avatar
sunluva7 sunluva7 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: New England
Posts: 2,079
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoofingPrincess View Post
Actually, no, it doesn't...
It will work to get you into Canada. It will not work coming home.
"For entry into the United States via land and sea borders, U.S. citizens must present either a U.S. passport, passport card, NEXUS card, Enhanced Drivers License, or other Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)-compliant document. "
http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_p.../cis_1082.html
I stand corrected. Thanks!
Reply With Quote

  #10  
Old April 27th, 2012, 03:29 PM
mikehn mikehn is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 152
Default

I believe a passport is good for like 10 years. So although there is a cost to getting a passport, you wont have to deal with any of these type of issues for a decade.
Reply With Quote

  #11  
Old April 27th, 2012, 09:29 PM
chipmaster's Avatar
chipmaster chipmaster is offline
5,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 8,334
Default

IMHO I'd spend a few dollars and get the passort, its a seperate and different debate as to you take it with you into port or leave it in the safe

Quote:
Originally Posted by TxDiamondCruiser View Post
Me and my 16 yoa are going on our first cruise soon. We both have drivers licenses and certified birth certificates. Really considering foregoing the expense of passports. Has anyone ever sailed without a passport before? Is this really too risky?
__________________
Princess: 1999, 2008, 2010, 2014 Disney: 2000, 2014 Carnival:2005
Reply With Quote

  #12  
Old April 27th, 2012, 10:35 PM
I_heart_vaca I_heart_vaca is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 300
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TxDiamondCruiser View Post
Me and my 16 yoa are going on our first cruise soon. We both have drivers licenses and certified birth certificates. Really considering foregoing the expense of passports. Has anyone ever sailed without a passport before? Is this really too risky?
As stated above if you are on a closed loop cruise - you don't need passport. I assume you are and have already checked with your cruise line and know you don't but are interested in people's opinion of risk so here is my opinion....its up to you. My sis and her hubs cruise about once a year - always closed loop - always the Caribbean. She has passport, he doesn't. They never have had any problems. They don't feel the risk of missing the ship or the chance of an emergency is worth it. On the other hand, I never travel without mine. Again. its your preference.
__________________
The early bird may get the worm BUT....
the early worm gets eatten and its the second mouse who gets the cheese!!




Sea Princess ~ Alaska ~ May 13 - 23, 2012...First Cruise Completed! It was AWESOME!!
Celebrity Summit ~ Caribbean ~ Nov. 1 - 8, 2014...Yeah Man!
Reply With Quote

  #13  
Old April 27th, 2012, 11:14 PM
chickadee1's Avatar
chickadee1 chickadee1 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 1,107
Default

I believe that Royal Caribbean requires your passport number when filling out online paperwork - also, had to show it when boarding cruise ship in NJ. Sure save a lot of hassle to have it!
Reply With Quote

  #14  
Old April 27th, 2012, 11:38 PM
EdmPair EdmPair is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Posts: 564
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TxDiamondCruiser View Post
Me and my 16 yoa are going on our first cruise soon. We both have drivers licenses and certified birth certificates. Really considering foregoing the expense of passports. Has anyone ever sailed without a passport before? Is this really too risky?
Expense?? I am in Canada and a passport does cost money but not much compared to the cruise itself. If your budget is that tight, I am not sure why you are going on the cruise at all.

Frankly, it is only America citizen who even ponder whether to get a passport or not to travel.
Reply With Quote

  #15  
Old April 28th, 2012, 02:07 AM
calliopecruiser calliopecruiser is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 2,608
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by EdmPair View Post
Frankly, it is only America citizen who even ponder whether to get a passport or not to travel.
LOL! No kidding!
__________________
Reply With Quote

  #16  
Old April 28th, 2012, 02:23 AM
rutgersgirl27 rutgersgirl27 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: North East
Posts: 241
Default

if possible, I'd say to get a passport. If you plan on traveling abroad in the future, you will be one step ahead. I've always renewed my passport, even if I hadn't planned on traveling in the short term. I just like knowing that I can go someplace on a whim .
__________________
Past Cruises!

'02 RCI Nordic Empress to Bermuda- first cruise, where I got hooked!
'03 Carnival Legend to the Eastern Caribbean- first balcony.
'04 RCI Explorer of the Seas to Canada - mother-daughter bonding!
'10 RCI Oasis of the Seas to the Eastern Caribbean- honeymoon cruise!
'11 Carnival Glory to Canada- family reunion
'12 Carnival Destiny to the Western Caribbean- college roommate reunion!
'12 Explorer of the Seas to Bermuda- amazing vacation with my husband!
Reply With Quote

  #17  
Old April 28th, 2012, 05:24 AM
Jasalth's Avatar
Jasalth Jasalth is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 412
Default

While I agree it isn't NECESSARY to have one, having a passport provides a lot more things than just well.... having a passport in the US!

You said your 16 yr old has a drivers license right now which good. I don't know if they plan on/have a job right now. Know that paperwork when you get a job with your Birth Certificate, SS Card, everything they can get away with you bringing to make sure you are allowed to work? A passport covers it ALL. Your 16 yr old looses their DL's? The passport will count for ID to get them a new one w/o hassle. Your 16 yr old has some talent, and/or loves things like Amazing Race or Survivor? You need to have a passport to even apply to things like those before hand.

At 16 the passport is good for 10 years, just like an adults. In the next 10 years your child might decide they want to study abroad, go on a trip with friends, get married and have a honeymoon out of the country. Also getting it now, makes it A LOT easier to keep renewed for the future.

So while it isn't a do or die thing to have one, having a child with a passport provides a lot more than most people think of for their child
__________________

Here we come Suite Life!!



Reply With Quote

  #18  
Old April 28th, 2012, 08:04 AM
sparks1093's Avatar
sparks1093 sparks1093 is offline
10,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Enosburg Falls, Vermont
Posts: 10,594
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by EdmPair View Post
Frankly, it is only America citizen who even ponder whether to get a passport or not to travel.
Because we're as independent as hogs on ice and don't like our government telling us what to do. That and many Americans don't travel internationally. (And how someone manages their budget is their business, too.)

If someone is going on a cruise for the first time, isn't sure that they will like it and isn't planning any other foreign travel in the foreseeable future then a passport looks like an unnecessary expense. As stated it can be used for other purposes being the ultimate ID, but still. As for the risks, most of the risks are in the control of the passenger- don't take long shore excursions that have a greater risk of running late, arrive at the departure port a day early, when going ashore plan to get back to the ship early, etc.

Certainly all risks can't be completely avoided but the fact is the vast majority of people that cruise on closed loop cruises make it back just fine on the ship they left on. This is a question that each passenger must answer for themselves after realistically analyzing their own travel needs and all of the risks.
__________________


Cruise photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sparks1093/

Email sparks1093

Previous cruises:

NCL Dream CTN May 2008
NCL Sky Bahamas April 2009 http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...?EntryID=54257
NCL Sky Bahamas April 2010 http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...?EntryID=66539
CCL Pride Bahamas October 2012 http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...EntryID=110323
NCL Gem Bahamas May 2014 http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberre...EntryID=255699

US Navy, too many to count but included 4 Med cruises (totaling 21 months) 1975-1992

I cruise because that's where the ocean is.

It beats haze gray and underway any day!
Reply With Quote

  #19  
Old April 28th, 2012, 09:23 AM
calliopecruiser calliopecruiser is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 2,608
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sparks1093 View Post
That and many Americans don't travel internationally.
That, along with the fact that many Americans apparently think that their country includes the entire continent
__________________
Reply With Quote

  #20  
Old April 28th, 2012, 09:24 AM
BlueRiband's Avatar
BlueRiband BlueRiband is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: NYC
Posts: 1,946
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TxDiamondCruiser View Post
Me and my 16 yoa are going on our first cruise soon. We both have drivers licenses and certified birth certificates. Really considering foregoing the expense of passports. Has anyone ever sailed without a passport before? Is this really too risky?
As others pointed out it's not as if you will be stuck forever in a foreign country should you have to leave the ship early. But even one night in a foreign hotel will cost more than a passport. You will consider this an emergency, but the bureaucrats processing your emergency passport application will not.

People also literally miss the boat - it happens a lot in Caribbean ports. In that case one would have to fly to the next port or fly home. What can go wrong? The ship can make an emergency early departure with you still on the island.

A 16 year old is considered an adult applicant and therefore the US passport is good for 10 years. Your teen will undoubtedly make some more journeys before he/she turns 26.
__________________
Queen Mary 2: 2004 Caribbean, 2010 Caribbean, 2011 NY-British Isles-NY, 2012 Canada, 2013 NY-Norway-NY, 2014 Canada

Last edited by BlueRiband; April 28th, 2012 at 09:28 AM.
Reply With Quote

Reply

Bookmarks


Ad Sponsored By
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:15 PM.


© 1995 - 2014, The Independent Traveler, Inc. All rights reserved.
"A Community of People Who Love To Cruise"
All of the information contained within Cruise Critic is protected by copyright. You may, however, download a single copy only for your personal use.